The Washington Post received both praise and criticism last month when it added a first-ever slogan to its masthead in print and online editions: “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”
Critics called it “ominous,” too “heavy-handed” to enthuse readers.
And, political town that Washington is, many saw it as an anti-Trump newspaper swinging back at a president whose campaign tactics, before and since the election, have included denigrating news media in general and the Post in particular as “dishonest” and “the enemy of the American people.”
None of the above is right. It was just the best slogan the newspaper’s executives could come up with in nearly a year of discussions, wrote Post media reporter Paul Farhi.
Perhaps we are all too hyper-sensitive and hyper-political these days. The Post’s slogan simply follows a tenet that’s at the heart of good journalism: People are better off when nothing is hidden from them.
Or, if you prefer to read it in the Bible, it’s John 8:32: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
We celebrate this thought every year in Sunshine Week. It’s March 12-18 this year.
Public information issues abound in Texas, but many of them come to the fore when the Legislature is in session.
Several crucial bills in this year’s session deal with government transparency.
Another would improve access to government records kept in officials’ private email accounts or in private devices.
One bill would help public agencies deal with people who misuse public information laws by repeatedly requesting copies of records but do not retrieve them or pay for them.
Democracy grows when exposed to light.